Electricity Subsidy is Good News!

05/07/2017 12:35

The Consumer Council of Fiji is elated with government’s decision to subsidise the first100kwh of electricity used by households whose combined income is less than $30,000. Abudget of $5million has been allocated to cover for the subsidy.

For long the Council lobbied for the fair implementation of the government subsidy on themonthly use of electricity. The subsidy was given for 75kwh in 2010, later it increased to85kwh, and in 2016 it was further increased to 95kwh. However, there was confusion in theapplication of the subsidy.

Consumers who received bills with their ‘kwh usage’ reading of less than 95kwh had oftenbeen surprised when electricity subsidy were not awarded to them on those bills. The catch washow FEA calculated monthly usage which was based on average daily use. For FEA, 95kwh amonth is equal to 3.13kwh, based on an average month of 30.42 days. Hence, subsidy wouldonly apply if average daily use is 3.13kwh or less.

For instance a household that uses 94kWh of electricity in a billing cycle covering 28 days,have an average daily use of 3.24kwh, which is above the 3.13kwh, making them not eligiblefor the subsidy.

Hence, the Council in its submission had asked for government subsidy for the first 95kwh andany usage above that to attract normal tariffs.

The previous rule restricted lower income households, with usually large family, to qualify forthe subsidy.